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peteylove's avatar

The three books every serial killer has read?

Asked by peteylove (232points) September 15th, 2008

So supposedly there are three or so books that every confirmed serial killer has read. I think one might be To Kill a Mocking Bird, but i’m not sure. Does anybody know the others. And no I don’t plan on committing any mass murders.

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23 Answers

srmorgan's avatar

Goodnight Moon, The Bible, California Penal Code

peteylove's avatar

Doing further research i find that one of the books is The Catcher in the Rye. but what are the others?

gailcalled's avatar

“Where the Wild Things Are,” “In Cold Blood,” and “The Manchurian Candidate.”

SRM: I wish I had thought of the CPC first.

JackAdams's avatar

Researcher Robert K. Ressler interviewed Jeffrey Dahmer and believes that most serial killers read about others because it gives pleasure and also allows learning new techniques. Dahmer said that he didn’t read about other killers, in fact he had only even heard of John Wayne Gacy, for instance, after he had already killed several people. Ressler wasn’t sure if he was telling the truth or not.

His interview outline is here.

Indy318's avatar

“If I Did it” by Orenthal James Simpson aka the Juice. =)

tWrex's avatar

“Oh the places you’ll go” by Dr. Seuss

MrMontpetit's avatar

I know one is his rights.

tWrex's avatar

@MrMontpetit Those are read to him though. Is that the same?

Les's avatar

What about “A Clockwork Orange”?

cyndyh's avatar

Lord of the Flies. The Collector. Lolita.

Or maybe

Carrie. Helter Skelter. How to Win Friends and Influence People.


Nimis's avatar

Along the same vein…The Seven Habits of Highly Productive People

JackAdams's avatar

@cyndyh: Cheers! was a TV show, wasn’t it?

Spargett's avatar

The Bible for sure. Murders love their Christianity. Not to mention the great inspiration that can be found within.

cyndyh's avatar

Ha! Yes, Jack, it was a TV show. It’s also a a toast without the butter and jam. :^>

JackAdams's avatar

Oh! That’s right! My bad…

aanuszek1's avatar

Catcher in the Rye?

EmpressPixie's avatar

Catcher in the Rye gets mentioned a lot as a favorite book of serial killers, but I’ve never seen the research to back it up. Beyond that as long as you are sticking to Western serial killers in the modern ear, there are books all of them have read simply by growing up in a similar culture. It would be just as easy to say that there are three books that all ice cream vendors have read or all meter maids have read, you know?

peteylove's avatar

Thanks for all the answers

Nimis's avatar

I think Catcher in The Rye is the default answer for anyone under 16.
As far as I can remember asking my friends when we were around that age.
Maybe serial killers are just stuck in their adolescence?

EmpressPixie's avatar

for more info on the Catcher in the Rye controversy:

turns out a number of famous killers were obsessed with it or at least enjoyed quoting from it

aanuszek1's avatar

Wasn’t the man who assassinated John Lennon carrying a copy of the book when he killed him?

thegata's avatar

the Collector is one for sure…

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